United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan will build on the expertise of its partnering organizations and facilitate the development of a portfolio of replicable early childhood learning communities in 10 needy communities in greater Detroit and surrounding areas.

Grantee Information
Federal Awards: 
$4 million over two years (2011-2012) $2 million over one year in 2013
Geographic Focus: 
Metro Detroit including Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties
Collaborating Partners: 
Early Childhood Investment Corporation, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Motors Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fischer Foundation, PNC Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg
Collaborating Funders: 
General Motors Foundations; W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Max and Marjorie Fischer Foundation
Working on the principle that the majority of development occurs before a child enters school, since 2005 the United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) has set a goal of 80% of children of Detroit to be prepared for entering kindergarten have the social, emotional and cognitive foundation for success.  UWSEM’s Greater Detroit Early Childhood Innovation Fund addresses the greater Detroit’s long-term systemic social and economic problems by investing in children at an early age.  
Currently UWSEM supports a base platform of service delivery designed to reach children ages 0-5 in their geographic area, which consists of the Detroit Metropolitan area, defined as Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.  This base platform of services, called the Early Learning Communities model, is what UWSEM’s Greater Detroit Early Childhood Innovation Fund is expanding and replicating. 

Track Record before Social Innovation Fund Grant:

  • UWSEM is currently funding 11 subgrantees working to prepare children entering kindergarten.
  • Almost all subgrantee evaluation plans have been submitted and approved, with one in the final review stage. UWSEM continues to work with subgrantee evaluators to implement the approved evaluation plans.

Nonprofits Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from United Way for Southeastern Michigan

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social ServicesMatrix Human Services (Inactive)
Detroit Parent Network (Inactive)National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
Detroit Public Television (Inactive)Southwest Counseling Solutions
Guidance Center (Inactive)Starfish Family Services
Living ArtsVanguard CDC (Inactive)
Macomb Intermediate School District 

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services
Dearborn, MI
Award Amount: $219,145
Areas Served: Southwest Detroit and Hamtramck

The ACCESS School Readiness project is a neighborhood-based approach to improving kindergarten readiness rates of children in low-income, immigrant families. In addition to academics, targeted families struggle with segregation, acculturation and poverty, putting children at greater risk of academic failure. The project overcomes these issues with a hybrid model that incorporates four components: English as a second language programming, parenting education and skill building, parent and child literacy activities, and intensive casemanagement to improve family stability. An estimated 490 parents/caregivers will be served in year one.

Detroit Parent Network
Detroit, MI
Award Amount: $250,000
Area Served: Northend, Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast Detroit

Detroit Parent Network works with low-income, disadvantaged families in Detroit to strengthen parental involvement in homes, schools and communities in order to get the best education possible for their children. The Pathways to Literacy project engages parents of children 0-5 with proven parent teaching strategies, support, and modeling focused on language, cognitive and communication skills. The project employees a peer-to-peer service delivery model in which parent-coaches work with families challenged by poverty, limited education, language and literacy barriers, and other obstacles to school success. Elements of this project draw on proven models including the Parent-Child Home Program and Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities. An estimated 300 parents/caregivers will be served in year one.

Detroit Public Television
Wixom, MI
Award Amount: $152,845
Area Served: 10 communities in Detroit, Macomb County, Oakland County, and Wayne County

Detroit Public Television is combining two powerful tools of social change to improve kindergarten readiness: digital media and existing community based social networks. The project targets households in which children are unlikely to attend preschool, building knowledge and practice among parents and caregivers. The project transforms High Scope Educational Research Foundation curriculum content into video-based media that is easily distributed, translated, and replicated. Through partnerships with existing early childhood and faith-based organizations, the content will be used by parent groups, neighborhood organizations, and other existing social networks in a variety of settings. An estimated 50,000 households will participate in year one.

Guidance Center
Southgate, MI
Award Amount: $235,000
Area Served: River Rouge

The Family/Community Engagement Initiative will enhance the Early Learning Community network in River Rouge through an innovative approach to building social competence and emotional maturity through parent engagement. Through this project, the Guidance Center identifies and targets parents with preschool-aged children to link them to resources, parent engagement and skill-building strategies to build awareness of the need for parenting and literacy skill-building tied to kindergarten readiness, and community engagement strategies to connect parents and families to the wealth of resources available to them in the community that will prepare children for kindergarten and support the family as life-long learners. Project components include the evidence-based Families and Schools Together program array, Family Literacy Workshops, and the Community Organizing and Family Issues model of family-focused community organizing. An estimated 600 children will benefit from this project in year one.

Living Arts
Detroit, MI
Award Amount: $100,000
Areas Served: Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast Detroit and Hamtramck

Through El Arte Early Learning project, Living Arts will expand its innovative, data-driven artsinfused early learning curriculum to over 130 pre-K classrooms in Southwest Detroit and other target communities. In partnership with the Wolf Trap Institute and the Marygrove College Institute for Arts-Infused Education, the project increases exposure to the arts by providing direct service in Head Start classrooms and by training teachers to engage children in dance, music and drama activities that boost literacy levels and other kindergarten readiness skills including language and cognitive ability, physical health, social competence, emotional maturity, and communication skills. Currently serving 1,500 pre-K students in 80 classrooms, the project will be expanded to reach 1,000 additional children.

Macomb Intermediate School District
Clinton Township, MI
Award Amount: $175,947
Area Served: South Macomb

A collaborative project of Macomb Intermediate School District, Macomb Family Services, and Leaps and Bounds Family Services, the Ready Schools, Ready Communities program prepares high-risk children ages 0-5 for kindergarten through an integrated model that includes a literacybased outreach and engagement approach, home visitation using the Parents as Teachers curriculum, and community-school collaboration to ease kindergarten transition. This project targets children with social and emotional needs and includes mental health referrals and supports. An estimated 325 children will benefit from this project in year one.

Matrix Human Services
Detroit, MI
Award Amount: $250,000
Area Served: Southwest and Northeast Detroit

Matrix Human Services empowers vulnerable individuals and families to enhance the quality of their lives and achieve self sufficiency. Matrix’s Born To Succeed project is a neighborhoodbased approach to helping parents of children (prenatal to age five) provide nurturing, literacyrich environments that foster kindergarten readiness. The project model integrates evidencebased approaches including home visitation, parent engagement, family stability, and health screenings to support cognitive/language development and physical health and well-being of young children. An estimated 400 children will benefit from this project in year one.

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
Detroit, MI
Award Amount: $250,000
Area Served: 10 communities in Detroit, Macomb County, Oakland County, and Wayne County

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Project for Early Childhood Health (PEACH) improves health outcomes of children ages 0-5 through three integrated strategies: delivery of the Regie’s Rainbow Adventure™ classroom-based curriculum for young children, individualized coaching with parents and caregivers to drive positive health behavior change, and assisting early childhood settings by supporting the adoption of policies, procedures, and practices that promote health. In addition to improved health outcomes, the project will promote positive socialization, improved focus and concentration, and increased self-efficacy. The project will be delivered across the metro Detroit region and will be integrated with existing early childhood resources including Early Learning Communities, Head Starts, and others. An estimated 500 households will be served in year one.

Southwest Counseling Solutions
Detroit, MI Award Amount: $126,000 Area Served: Southwest Detroit

The English Language Learners Program breaks the cycle of poverty and illiteracy through school success by utilizing successful research-based programming to promote academic achievement. The project uses an evidence-based family literacy model to improve literacy among young children from non-English speaking households. The model incorporates adult English education, parent and child together interactive literacy activities, parent training (through Early Learning Communities), and a supportive educational environment for children. This program will be implemented in collaboration with Detroit Public Schools and will be evaluated by the National Center for Family Literacy. An estimated 100 households will be served in year one.

Starfish Family Services
Inkster, MI
Award Amount: $250,000
Area Served: Inkster

There are at least 1,500 children ages 0 - 5 in Inkster, MI at risk for school failure, representing at least two thirds of all young children in this highly stressed community. Starfish Family Service’s Inkster Family Literacy Movement involves the entire community to improve children’s development of Language & Cognitive skills and Communication Skills. An innovative mix of community campaigns will create a literacy-promoting culture within Inkster, feeding a coordinated continuum of fun and accessible family literacy programs, services and events. The integrated literacy services include high quality "Direct-Child," "Direct-Parent," and "Parent-Child Together" family literacy programs. In conjunction with this work, Starfish will create a Community Family Literacy Movement Toolkit that will detail processes and tools used to achieve kindergarten readiness goals. An estimated 1,000 families will benefit from this project in year one.

Vanguard CDC
Detroit, MI
Award Amount: $175,000
Area Served: Northend and Northeast Detroit

Through the replication of the Early Learning Communities model, Vanguard Community Development Corporation is increasing parental knowledge and skills for engaging children ages 0-5 in developmentally appropriate activities and working directly with in-home care providers to improve skills and strengthen relationships between providers and parents. Building on Vanguard’s history of revitalizing the physical, social and economic fabric, families will have access to the wide array of support services that are in place to promote family stability across the North End. Focusing on parent engagement, childcare quality improvement, and family stability resources, this project will result in a coordinated school readiness system in central Detroit. An estimated 125 parents/caregivers will be served in year one.

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